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Tyne and Wear HER(12353): Newcastle, Pilgrim Street, Wanfried dish - Details

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Newcastle, Pilgrim Street, Wanfried dish



Food Preparation and Consumption

Food and Drink Serving Container


Post Medieval



Part of a dish was found by Mr R.A.S. Cowper during the clearance of the site which is now Swan House roundabout, Pilgrim Street. This was the bottom part of a dish, in dull red-brown fine sandy fabric. It had a clear brown glaze on the inside with concentric circles of pale green slip enclosing a horse, with floral decoration behind, in dark and pale green slip outlined by sgraffito. The fragment is dated 1611. This sort of pottery and decoration is typical of wares made at Wanfried-an-der-Werra, a tributary of the Weser, in Hesse in Germany. The dish would have had a hammer-headed rim. Wanfried ware (also known as Hessian ware) is the earliest slipware in north-west Europe and has a date range from 1575-1635. No exact parallel has so far been found for the Newcastle horse. In England there have been finds of Wanfried ware at twelve sites at Norwich, Colchester, Dover Castle, Faversham, Lincoln, Southampton and Plymouth. Seven of the twelve sites lie between Norwich and Dover, suggesting that the pottery was traded across from Holland and then up and down the English coast. In the second half of the 17th century the pottery industry moved doen to the middle Weser and made a lighter pink ware. This was also traded with the Low Countries but of the 19 finds, 8 are north of the Humber, possibly indicating trade between Bremen or Holland and the north of England. Sherds were found in excavations in Newcastle at the South Curtain Wall 1960-61 (AA 4, XLIV) and the Carmelite Friary in 1965 and 1967 (AA 4, XLVI).




J.G. Hurst, 1972, Archaeologia Aeliana, Fourth Series, Vol. 1, pp 259-262

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